Wednesday, 28 March 2012

System Update - 28th Mar 2012

A heavy down pour two days ago had increased the water level tremendously. On Tuesday morning, I found that the bottom part of the outlet pipe had fallen off into the fish tank. Surprisingly, the siphon still works! I will leave it as it is for now since it's providing more aeration than before. The shortened siphon outlet also slows down the outgoing flow since a shorter downward pipe means less water within the outlet pipe to contribute to the siphoning action by gravity.
Nice water effect!

Today I went to the pasar tani (farmer's market) near my house to buy some vegetables to grow in my system. Although my setup is new, most of the fish tank water as well as the expanded clay was reused from from the old system. There is still plenty of nitrates in the water as I didn't plant much in my old system. So in order to remove those excess nitrates, I will plant Kang Kong (Water Convolvulus), a Pegaga-like plant (is it Pegaga? can anyone confirm?), and the famous aquaponics monster - The Mint... Kang Kong and the Pegaga-like plant will probably do well since they are aquatic plants.
Before I plant them into the grow bed, I'll have to wash their roots first. I can see the Mint anticipating its new found territory.

Pegaga-like plant was planted in bunches of 4 - 5 plants with their roots still intact. For the Mint, I removed their roots and bottom leaves before inserting them into the media. Letting them grow new roots would be better than risking their old conditioned for soil roots to rot. I also had sprinkled some Tomato, Chilli and Kailan seeds 3 days ago. I'll be expecting them to germinate in a few days time. I've also inserted 6 Barbados Cherry seeds in to the growbed - "sigh..." - but I also read that they take 6 to 12 months minimum to germinate and only 5% will be successful.

I threw half of the kangkong into the guppy tank. Some mint and pegaga were also thrown in together. The kangkong will root in the water and provide hiding places for guppy fries.

The other half of the kangkong was thrown in to the larger fish tank for my Pleco to munch. Ah! The water has a green tinge! I am happy for that as I have never had an algae bloom in any of my systems before.

Guppy feeding frenzy; Food consumed in 3 seconds!
Thanks for reading! Will post another update soon...

Monday, 26 March 2012

Aska Aquaponics 2.0!

After countless failures experienced from my previous setup, i decided to make a new one... The problem with my previous setup is that it was placed under a shade thus receiving very little sunlight and the pump was weak causing the siphon to fail frequently when it gets too clogged up... Due to its small fish tank size, water temperature and pH levels fluctuates a lot causing massive guppy deaths many times... Aeration wasn't good either...
Here's a pic of my first setup:

And now, presenting my second aquaponics setup! This time it's bigger and better...!
Here's some pics:

The setup was based on Affnan's Tilapia Breeding Homekit. The idea of using slotted angle iron as growbed stand was inspired from Mahfudz' aquaponics and En. Ahmad Hayan Radzi setup.

The pic above shows the growbed. The two small plants are seedlings of a nearby tree. I've also inserted a curry plant cutting there. Its difficult to root curry plant cuttings, their leaflets turn black if it stays wet for too long. For the purpose of this photo taking session, I've removed the plastic bag covering the curry plant cutting used to protect it from drying out.

The angle iron stand is painted with blue outdoor paint; Only on the outside! You can see the inner sides were still gray. The reason is the paint took too long to dry that i lost my patience and just went ahead to fix the stand. I may cover the stand with plastic sheet for extra protection later...

 Here's a photo of the "big" fish tank. You can see a lone Plecotamus (Malay: Ikan Bandaraya) by the dark corner there. That pleco has been with me since I first started aquaponics. I'm using an Astro 3000 pump which is very powerful so i have to divert much of the water flow back in to the tank. This will be room for Tilapias in the future...

 Here's the "small" fish tank. Those are my little guppies from my previous setup. They always rush towards me whenever I approach them as if they haven't eaten for days. This tank was actually the growbed of my previous setup. The overflow pipe in the middle was a standpipe previously. That green plastic bush ball on the right is a hiding place for their tiny fries... White stuffs at the bottom left are coral rocks to buffer the pH...

Oh look, the siphon is flushing!

I'll post an update soon... Thanks for reading!